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Baby it's a wild world

In this sequence the psychological realism of the film takes a turn into a wild and colorful world filled with illustrated metaphor.
Emelia in space

The idea of the psychological realism is to show the world through the eyes of Emelia, how things feel to her. Since the film goes through a whole gambit of emotions- rejection , longing, hope, emptiness, and joy - I needed to develop a visual vocabulary for each of these. So while I used uncomfortable colors like green and pink for the other parts, for this rather psychedelically happy sequence, I used wilder colors. Similarly while I used trees made out of human hair in the more foreboding parts, here I decided that the trees should be made out of broccoli. I can't explain why hair trees creep me out, or why broccoli trees make me happy, they just sort of do.

Emelia's world

Since I wanted the whole thing to have a very organic handmade kind of feel - like the comfortableness of a well loved stuffed animal on your bed - I made the landscapes out of knit sweaters, corduroy pants, fuzzy pillows, and teddy bear fur. For the sky I got a bunch of paints and just messed around. The yellow clouds and sky at the top of the page became finger paint scribbles, and the night sky I made by pouring salt onto paper and then combining that with ink and water and blowing it around with a straw until it was nice and swirly. The salt works by sucking up some of the ink and making groovy little patterns. The moon is made out of clay. I tried making it out of cheese but ended up just eating the cheese instead. And of course there is the broccoli, which I got at the grocers.

Emelia's insides

This all is animated and cut together in a crazy stream of consciousness way, where one image flows into the next, a zoom into an eyeball lands you on top of a hill which then flips you upside down and you hurdle through space.

Of course the whole point of all of this is not simply to make wacky imagery but to have the viewer connect emotionally with it and the story - to find a "visual vocabulary" that stirs up certain emotional connotations and feelings in the viewer, so that you not only literally see what Emelia is feeling, but feel the same way about it as she does (assuming I guess that broccoli trees make you happy too). This allows the viewer to experience the world through the eyes of Emelia, to see what is in her insides, and maybe, to see a little bit of what is in our insides too. The idea is to take you on a journey of Emelia's own story, and hopefully, in going on that rather strange journey, we can find out something about ourselves, since most of our insides are a bit strange, and dark, and crazy, too.

S c h w i i i i i i i i n n ! !

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